An Post has been working hard to prepare for Brexit from January 1st when changes will affect customers sending parcels to, and receiving items from, Great Britain. Any charges on incoming items will have to be paid by the receiving customer in advance of delivery.
Cyril McGrane, Director of International Trade, An Post said: “In addition to making preparations for Brexit, An Post has also been preparing for the single biggest change to the customs regime in the history of the State: the implementation of Customs 2020, the EU programme to enable national customs administrations to create and exchange information electronically. Our priority is to make the changes as easy as possible for customers.”
Northern Ireland – There will be no changes to Letters to or from Northern Ireland and no customs or other tariff charges payable on parcels going to or coming from Northern Ireland.
Letters – Brexit will have no impact on Letters to and from Great Britain.
Parcels – Customs 2020 requires the electronic processing of the customs formalities for parcels coming into the EU’s customs union from ‘3rd countries’ such as the US and following Brexit, from Great Britain (GB). From January 1st, charges such as VAT will apply to GB goods and electronic customs data will be required for each item in advance of shipping/posting.
An Post already handles more than 10 million parcels every year from non-EU countries, all of which are made available to Irish Customs for inspection. From 1st January, the 16 million+ parcels that An Post receives annually from Great Britain will join this stream of incoming parcels being presented to Customs.
Where Irish Customs decide that VAT or customs charges are applicable to GB goods, customers will either pay these charges in their shopping basket to the online retailer, or directly via An Post online or at a Post Office in advance of delivery.
Online Shopping with UK Retailers – An Post has been working closely with the UK online retailers for whom it delivers to put in place as seamless process for Irish online shoppers. 95% of UK online retailers for whom An Post delivers have signed up to a digital solution that enables the shopper to include all charges in the shopping basket at the point of purchase, so that the items may be delivered as normal to the customer.
The remaining 5% will require customers to pay the customs/tarriff charges in advance of delivery. An Post has built a new online portal to enable customers to pay charges in a few clicks and the item will be delivered as normal. Alternatively, customers can pay charges at any Post Office. Charges will no longer be collected at the door by postal delivery staff.
Sending Parcels to Great Britain – Irish Businesses and consumers should be aware of the following changes:
- Every item containing goods sent through the post will require an online customs declaration form.
- Customers can complete the declaration form electronically using Click&Post at anpost.com or at the Post Office. Larger business users can avail of the An Post digital Autolynk facility.
- If the item is a gift with a value under €45, no customs charges will be applied. Goods with a value of €45 or more may be subject to customs charges.
Irish businesses should register with revenue.ie for an EORI number to allow them export and import outside of the European Union. For items up to £135/€150 in value Irish businesses should register with HMRC, the UK Revenue body, and complete a VAT return directly with HMRC.
For items over £135 in value, Irish businesses will have the option to either include customs as part of their shopping basket charge before sending to the customer in the UK, or alternatively they can send the item to the customer and the customer can pay charges as applied by HMRC before delivery.
Comprehensive information on the impact of customs and Brexit changes to Irish business and consumers is available at anpost.com/Brexit or from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission at www.ccpc.ie/consumers.
AddressPal Proxy Addressing Service – An Post’s virtual address product, AddressPal will also be impacted by Brexit and Customs 2020 changes.
Existing AddressPal UK customers must register a home delivery address on their account for the purpose of paying any charges due. Some customers currently have only a local Post Office listed as their delivery address. A post office delivery address can no longer be used as the customer’s registered address.
An AddressPal UK service fee of €6.50 will include a range of delivery options (once customs charges are cleared) including delivery to a local Post Office or to a neighbour, which will be offered by text message to customers. Charges and an administration fee of €3.50 will apply to all items. An Post will monitor the impact of changes on the service over the coming months.